Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

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A “Sweet” Christmas Story Of A WWII Bomber Pilot

It was during the summer of 1944 when Lieutenant Wendel B. Terry was flying his B-17 bomber. He and his crew were on a mission to bomb a bridge in France. Their goal was to slow down the retreat of Hitler’s army.
While flying over the west coast of France, his plane was hit by antiaircraft fire. A large portion of the left wing broke off after being hit, the plane caught fire, and one of the plane’s fuel tanks exploded. Both of the plane’s left engines had stopped running and the plane went into a downward spiral. Wendel rang the alarm bell and started yelling for everyone to bail out.
Wendel was the last to bail out of the plane. He survived his parachute jump only to land on the ground, and find himself surrounded by German SS troops. He was then taken to a prisoner-of-war camp, where he shared a cement room with 23 other prisoners. The room had a dirt floor, no heat to keep them warm, and there was one small window.
The prisoners were struggling to survive. To try and keep warm, they dug a small fire pit in the ground and started burning any small piece of wood or stick they could find.
On Christmas Day of that year, at about nine o’clock, the camp’s commandant ordered all of the prisoners to go outside. It was a bright day outside, but the weather was bitter cold. The prisoners bundled up with everything they could find to wear, and stood closely together so they could share their body heat. The German officer then made a surprise announcement: the camp had just received a shipment of Red Cross parcels from the United States. The prisoners cheered with delight when they heard the news!
The cheering died off when the officer explained that there were not enough of these parcels to share with every man. The number of packages was not even close! Since there were about 250 prisoners in the camp, he went on to tell them that he would only be able to share two of these packages with each barrack. To solve the problem, the officer decided to hold a raffle.
Small strips of paper and pencils were then passed around. The men wrote their names on these papers, and put them in a hat. The senior officers of each barrack were told to draw out only two names. Wendel couldn’t believe it when he heard his name called out.
Wendel went back to his barrack and started removing the brown paper wrapping from his package. All of the 23 other men gathered closely around him as he opened it up.
Inside this small package was one small can of powdered milk, a packet of sugar, two squares of unsweetened chocolate, and a few other small items like gloves, pencils, tooth powder, and a toothbrush.
While opening the package, Wendel could see the disappointment and envy on the other men’s faces. There weren’t enough items to share with the others, so that option was out. He started asking himself if he should just go ahead and consume everything while they were all watching, or just put it away and save the stuff for later. Then, the answer came to him. He hadn’t had anything sweet for about six months, so with the chocolate, sugar and powdered milk, he decided to use those ingredients and make some fudge for everyone to enjoy.
Wendel started by opening the can of powdered milk. He added some water to the contents, mixed it together, and poured it into a small saucepan they had in their room. Next, he took the powdered milk can, cut it lengthwise, and flattened it out into a square. He then carefully folded the four edges upward to create a small baking dish. The four corners of the pan were crimped together so the dish wouldn’t leak.
He put the packet of sugar and the two squares of unsweetened chocolate into the saucepan with the milk. The pan was then set on a small fire they had in the middle of the floor. Wendel carefully stirred everything together as the chocolate started to melt. The other men were watching him closely, and they started getting excited as the aroma of chocolate filled the room.
After the chocolate had melted and all the ingredients had been stirred together, Wendel carefully poured the mixture into the small tin pan he had made.
In the room’s cold air, it didn’t take long for the mixture to solidify. A little while later, Wendel looked up at the men and said, “I think it’s ready.”
Wendel took a small knife off the shelf and to everyone’s surprise, he cut the small slab of fudge into 24 squares. He then looked at the men, smiled and softly said to them, “Merry Christmas.”
He carefully removed each of the tiny squares of fudge and handed one to each of the men. Some of the guys put the entire square into their mouth, and closed their eyes in total delight. Some of them started licking the pieces, while others broke the squares into tiny bits so they could savor the moment for as long as possible.
This was a very special day that these men would never forget. Many tears were shed, hands were shaken, and many of them hugged one another. Because of one man’s selflessness, 23 other men were filled with gratitude and love on that Christmas Day.